Wikinews:Water cooler/policy/archives/2018/June

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Science news, freshness and the lag

In the past, we've had trouble publishing Wikinews articles on science news because of what I call "the lag." A study is completed (sometimes in secret) long before it is published, undergoes peer review, appears in publication and sometimes the mainstream news doesn't respond to it until weeks or even months later. If we treat the publication as the focal event of the Wikinews article, the covering science news is impossible for papers whose publication date is more than a few days before anything that can serve as a corroborating independent source. I was looking through Eurekalert one day for a good article to write and saw a press release for a journal paper that was marked as having been published months ago, so I emailed the corresponding author and just asked why this happened.
I saw your press release on Eurekalert and I was hoping you could resolve a mystery for me. I notice that the paper "Seascape models reveal places to focus coastal fisheries management" appeared in Ecological Applications on February 8, but the media is only responding to it now.
Can you tell me what causes the lag? Was there a reason why your research team waited until now to promote your published findings?
Thank you very much.
And the person was kind enough to respond:
As per the publisher of the journal, every paper has an Accepted Date and an Early View date. The accepted date is the date of record since it is the first time the manuscript is made available for citing. The Early View date is the date the edited version appears. The February 8 date on the link to the paper is the accepted date. The paper was actually just published this month.
I've cc'd two of the co-authors here if you have additional questions.
All the best,
So that's what's going on. "First published" should not be taken literally with professional science journal articles. I propose that if we must keep to the idea of publication as focal event, we go with the date the research team decided to advise the public of their work. Darkfrog24 (talk) 21:25, 29 May 2018 (UTC)
@Darkfrog24: We care about date of publication, not date of acceptance. That has always been the case.

(Reminder: we are, of course, only talking here about pure synthesis; of the much-higher-prestige original reporting, we have a number of excellent examples where Wikinewsies contacted the researchers directly for an interview, entirely avoiding issues of synthesis freshness and producing in the process several Featured Articles.) --Pi zero (talk) 23:48, 7 June 2018 (UTC)

It looks like the date of publication may not always be what's listed and looks like date of publication. Darkfrog24 (talk) 23:18, 8 June 2018 (UTC)
Indeed. That is a difficulty (of verification, not of policy). The problem would seem to be, how to verifiably ascertain the date of publication (public announcement) in those cases. --Pi zero (talk) 23:27, 8 June 2018 (UTC)
In the example you cite, the "first published" date is February 8, but the article appears in Volume 28, Issue 4, the issue date for which is June 1. Pinning down the early view date — which, from the name, is presumably prior to June 1 — seems more challenging. --Pi zero (talk) 00:50, 9 June 2018 (UTC)

Versions of Creative Commons

Curiously, our current version of CC BY is 2.5. Considering how different the versions are, especially in regards to moral rights, I've been wondering how ready the project is to change to or add the 4.0 version of CC BY. Do we still maintain moral rights for the articles? --George Ho (talk) 18:53, 11 June 2018 (UTC)

We use a different license because we need news to more reusable than Wikipedia would be. --Pi zero (talk) 19:59, 11 June 2018 (UTC)
@Pi zero: I think you misread George's comment: This is a good reason why we have CC BY rather than CC BY SA (like all other WMF projects) but does not explain why we have CC BY 2.5 rather than CC BY 4.0. Should we update our CC BY license? —Justin (koavf)TCM 22:03, 11 June 2018 (UTC)
Ah. Hm. --Pi zero (talk) 22:12, 11 June 2018 (UTC)